The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)


Product placement is going to be allowed on UK commercial telly for the first time. About eight months ago I wrote a blog about the future of telly which I never posted – it kind of went out of date – but my main prediction was that product placement was the inevitable next step. I love Chunky Kit Kats.

Why? Because it’s so easy to skip adverts now. Unless you’re watching a show live, you can fast-foward through the recording; or, if you’re using a catch-up service, they’ve already thoughtfully taken out the commerical breaks for you. Which means, when it comes to ITV Dramas, I have the choice of watching a show as-broadcast with adverts, or waiting one day and watching it without. Whilst eating a lovely Chunky Kit Kat.

Product placement won’t solve ITV’s problems in the short term – the amount of cash available for advertising won’t increase, it’ll merely be shifted from the ad-break and sponsorship pot to the product placement pot – but in the long term it’s the only way shows can be funded through advertising. Such as adverts for delicious Chunky Kit Kats.

The argument against is, of course, that it will be instrusive and will compromise the integrity of the drama. Maybe, but I don’t really see that happening on 24; advertising aren’t going to want to place their products intrusively in a tacky show. Yes, it may compromise the writer’s vision, but compromises are what writing is all about. That and Chunky Kit Kats.

I suspect the real argument some people have against it is the I-have-a-right-to-get-everything-for-free-immediately mentality that expects others to foot the bill, and the makers to provide content without recompense.

If anyone wants to place a product in this blog, please feel free to send me money. Or Chunky Kit Kats.

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